(Cheyenne, WY) –Ten Rodeo Champions were crowned at the Laramie County Fairgrounds Friday September 8th, and when Saddle Bronc Rider Ryan Koupal of Edgemont, SD exited the rodeo arena carrying the saddle awarded to the High Money earner of the series, it put a bow on a record shattering season for the summertime open rodeo series.

The fourth season of the series saw records set for attendance, contestant participation, prize money awarded to the athletes, economic impact and sponsorship involvement. This year 2850 tickets were sold to visitors from 44 states and 12 different countries over the course of the six-week series. Almost $70,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to cowboys and cowgirls who showed up to compete in numbers averaging 140 per rodeo. Additionally, more than 40 businesses stepped up to sponsor the rodeo. The rodeo series had a direct economic impact to Laramie County of $800,000 this year.

“To see the incredible growth in a matter of four years that Hell on Wheels has achieved is very gratifying,” said Jim Walter, Vice President of Visit Cheyenne, and the Hell on Wheels Rodeo project manager for the organization. “We strive to put a professional level product in the arena for the athletes and the attendees. The increase in attendance and the consistently high numbers of cowboys and cowgirls who participate in each performance really speaks to our success there. We could not do this of course without the support of our sponsors and the expertise of Cindy and Dave DeLancey of Hell on Wheels Rodeo Company who put on a top-notch rodeo each week for us.”

The rodeo continues to grow the overall experience each year according to Walter. This year was the inaugural year for the Hell on Wheels Royalty program featuring the first rodeo Queen, Abigail Marcott. The rodeo also debuted a single barrel whiskey in cooperation with Pine Bluffs Distilling. Both programs look to continue next year as they provide added value for the agriculture community and the youth of Laramie County.

This year the rodeo awarded championship buckles in all events and a beautiful saddle to the overall high money winner for the rodeo. Usher Saddlery crafted the trophy saddle and buckles for the rodeo. Bar-S Services and Equinity sponsored the saddle and 12 additional businesses sponsored buckles this year.

The 2023 Hell on Wheels Rodeo Champions are:

High Money Champion: Ryan Koupal, Edgemont, SD
Bareback Riding: Dalton Williams, Loveland, CO
Steer Wrestling: Trace Travnicek, Minatare, NE
Breakaway Roping: Konnar Knotwell, Encampment, WY
Saddle Bronc: Ryan Koupal, Edgemont, SD
Tie Down Roping: Trace Travnicek, Minatare, NE
Team Roping Header: Jace Roselle, Greeley, CO
Team Roping Heeler: Wyatt Hallam, Greeley, CO
Barrel Racing: Carla Weiser, Wheatland, WY
Novice Bull Riding: Lukas Barnett, Littleton, CO
Bull Riding: Colton Coffman, Lusk, WY

Visit Cheynne is very grateful to the sponsors who stepped up and helped make the series possible this summer including:

Riggin: Black Hills Energy and BuckedUp Energy Drinks
Lariat: Dickey’s BBQ
Hooey: Pine Bluffs Distilling, Jonah Bank, AMR, Wyoming Downs, US Gold, Cowboy Dodge, Cheyenne Laramie County Employee Federal Credit Union, Boots on the Ground Productions, LLC, 103.3 The Range, T-Joe’s Steakhouse and Saloon.
Re-Ride: Greeley Hat Works, Boot Barn, Bison Beverage, Meridian Trust FCU, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, ANB Bank, Wyoming Signs
Chute: Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum and Reiman Construction
Saddle Sponsors: Bar-S Services and Equinity

Planning for the 5th anniversary season of the Hell on Wheels Rodeo and Chuck Wagon Dinner Series is already underway. The series will take place across six dates next summer back at the Laramie County Fairgrounds. “The staff at the fairgrounds are amazing to work with,” said Walter.  “The whole crew is on the same page as us when it comes to improving the all-around experience. We are incredibly grateful to the commitment that our county commissioners have made to the Archer complex and the quality-of-life enhancements it brings for all of Laramie County.”

Season tickets and tickets for groups of 15 or more go on sale January 1, 2024, and individual tickets go on sale April 1st. For 2024 dates, tickets and more information on the rodeo and chuck wagon dinner, visit www.hellonwheelsrodeo.com.

The Hell on Wheels Rodeo and Chuck Wagon Dinner Series is a wholly owned event of the Laramie County Tourism Joint Powers Board, better known as Visit Cheyenne, put on in partnership with Hell on Wheels Rodeo Company, LLC. The series began in 2020 to ensure Cheyenne and Laramie County would have a rodeo of some sort after the Coronavirus pandemic shuttered rodeos across the west. What started as a 3-rodeo series with fewer than 600 attendees has grown to a 6-rodeo series with 2800 attendees paying $69,000 in cash and prizes to cowboys and cowgirls. The rodeo has an economic impact to Laramie County, Wyoming of $800,000 annually.